Hatewatchers had their tweeting thumbs at the ready on Wednesday as NBC lifted the curtain on Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical. But was this updated production of the 2006 Broadway show really the cringefest that many expected? Let’s investigate.
Sure, the sight of Matthew Morrison in the iconic character’s green skin and thicc physique was a little jarring at first. But if you think about it, aren’t most things he does a little jarring? Some of us are old enough to remember the time he inspired an entire group of high school students to master the art of twerking on Glee. And when he got caught having sex with that sheep on Younger. And… wait, did we already mention Glee? Either way, this was perfectly on-brand for Morrison and we won’t hear another word about it.
That said, we can’t deny that this fourth wall-breaking moment during the musical’s first hour made us supremely uncomfortable:
This is deeply, deeply disturbing. Bone chilling. Matthew Morrison must be detained. pic.twitter.com/ixFBIHFo7I
— Deals (@delia_cruzkelly) December 9, 2020
Oh, there was also this:
— Jillian Sederholm (@JillianSed) December 10, 2020
As for the rest of the show, it was perfectly fine. Watching Denis O’Hare (American Horror Story) attempt to tone down his inherent intensity as an older version of The Grinch’s beloved hench-dog was a trip, and Booboo Stewart (Julie and the Phantoms) was endearing as always playing O’Hare’s younger counterpart. (But don’t take our word for it. Just ask this tweet.)
The Whos were fun but unmemorable, save for their enviable cotton candy hair and sick dance moves.
For the sake of those watching from home, the show — which was filmed in London’s Troubadour Theatre — probably would have benefited from the chaotic energy of a live broadcast. Or the sound of an audience, at the very least. We get that there’s a global pandemic afoot, but if every awful award show this season has included a virtual audience, you’d think a musical production could get the same treatment.
But maybe we’re just being grinches. What did you think of NBC’s latest musical event? Grade it in our poll below, then drop a comment with your full review.